Friday, May 22, 2020

West Papua’s highway of blood – a case of destruction not development

A Papuan with a face painting of the banned Papuan independence flag Morning Star. Image: The Road
REVIEW: By David Robie

The 4300-km Trans-Papua Highway costing some US$1.4 billion was supposed to bring “wealth, development and prosperity” to the isolated regions of West Papua.

At least, that’s how the planners and politicians envisaged the highway far away in their Jakarta offices.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is so enthusiastic about the project as a cornerstone for his infrastructure strategies that he had publicity photographs taken of him on his Kawasaki trail motorbike on the highway.

But that isn’t how West Papuans see “The Road”.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Jailing of Jakarta Six fuels virus fears over Papuan political prisoners

A past protest in London demanding the release of Papuan political prisoners. Image: Survival International
PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, convenor of Pacific Media Watch

THE JAILING of the Jakarta Six – five Papuans and the first Indonesian to be convicted for a Papuan protest – in Indonesia last month has focused global attention on the plight of political prisoners in the face of a failing struggle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Already several analysts are warning that both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are at risk of becoming coronavirus “failed states” and this will be of concern to Australia and New Zealand.

While Papua New Guinea has had only eight confirmed covid-19 cases so far – a spike is expected this month in spite of the state of emergency, Indonesia already has 10,843 cases with 831 deaths and the real toll is feared to be higher and climbing.

READ MORE: Tough coronavirus controls threaten Pacific, global media freedom


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